: Most Historicists, in my experience, attempt to identify stage of history "A" by identifying particular phenomena, such as x, y & z. When asked why x, y & z occur they claim that such phenomena are produced by stage of history A. This is what we call equivocation.
Or rather, we examine a given object, and try to find its particular features: rather like describing an orange.
: Let's say we identify:
: a) stage of history A = X
A = Orange.
: b) phenomena x, y & z = Y
Skin, Colour, Tree = Y
: c) so Y signifys X
Skin, Colour, Tree signifys X.
: d) and X signifys Y
Orange signifies Y.
: This is what is known as a tautology. In other words, it claims precisely noting. And so it is non-falsifiable and thus non-empirical.
No, the point is that we can transfer teh features observed in our original study, and loook for matches elsewhere - I have a fairly convincing argument that says that the Soviet Union corresponds in many feautres to the Eighteenth century 'Old Corruption' in eighteenth centyury england.
Also, note that tuatology is avoided by establishing difference to otehr observable objects - this is how language works in general.
BTW- Joel, do you think we can photogaph a lie? Just wondering. ;)